The truth is that as Cub Scouts, we “trunk camp”. We have the luxury of pulling our vehicle up close to the campsite, unload and set up. The good news is that you can camp in luxury AND for the time being you don’t have to invest in the expensive backpacking items. If you stick with these recommendations, you should have a comfortable and fun camping experience!
If you’re new to scouting, DON’T PANIC! (obligatory reference to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) If you have little to none of this stuff, don’t worry, one of the more experienced campers will have some to share.
This item went first! When we camp it may be a hike to get water or there may be no water available. On top of personal water bottles, I highly recommend bringing 3-5 gallons for each family.
The pack provides meals, but if you or your scout get hungry in between, you need to bring snacks.
Tents are sized by the person. Don’t be fooled, that number is if you are sleeping shoulder to shoulder. A good rule of thumb is to take the number of people the tent is sized for and divide by 2. i.e, a 4 man tent is comfortable with 2 people.
When you buy your tent, set it up once at home to make sure you know how. I recommend doing this inside your house. Then semi put it up and take to the yard. Buy some silicone (Scotchguard) and give the tent and rainfly a good once over. Let it dry, then hit then seems hard and heavy with the silicone spray.
You also need a ground cloth for your tent.
SLEEPING BAGS AND MATS
If you buy them online, make sure the temperating is US rating, not European. European rating is that you will survive at that temperature. US rating is that you will be comfortable at that temperature.
The make liners for sleeping bags that add a bit extra warmth but a sheet folded and sewn will do the same.
We’ve had people bring full-blown air mattresses to campouts and that’s fine since we “trunk camp”. This is totally a comfort preference but you do need something between you and the ground. There is usually not electricity so if you require a pump for the air matress, make sure you can power the pump.
Cots work too, just make sure it won’t poke a hole through your tent. Also, make sure to bring a pillow!
Always best to plan on rain and plan on being colder than you expected. Polyester and wool are your new best friend. Cotton (especially jeans) are not great when wet. Bring enough clothes plus one extra set for the weekend.
Again, we trunk camp. If you’re not ready to invest in a backpack, then don’t. Just use a duffle bag that is easy to carry.
I just bought a very nice rain suit from Academy for $20. Stayed nice and dry. Just make sure that you at least have a poncho for you and your scouts.
DAY BAG (FOR HIKES) – ADULT
Just like every outing with your kids, much of what you pack is not for you but instead for your kids.
- Rain gear
- Dry shirt & socks
- Insect Repellent
- Foot Powder
- Fire Starter
- Notepad / Pen
- compass/map (if needed or available)
- First aid kit (big one)
- Trail mix or protein bars
- Hand Sanitizer
- Advil/Tylenol (for you or your children ONLY)
- g2 packages (sports drink mix with low sugar)
- Deck of cards/dice
- Chemical light
- Boy Scout Field Manual
- Toilet Paper
- Small bag for trash
DAY PACK (FOR HIKING) – SCOUTS
- Rain gear
- Trail Food
- First Aid Kit (smaller)
Leave the electronics in your car, but feel free to bring a ball or cards.
A cub scout MUST be at least in a Bear den AND earned the whittling chip to carry a knife. A swiss army knife is the recommended type of knife for a cub scout. NO sheath knives.
You’ll want a camp chair to sit around the fire. These start at $5 and can go up to $100+. The choice is yours on a chair, just bring one!
- Flash Light
- Toilet Paper
- small mess kit (deep plate and spoon/fork combo will do)
- Water jugs or bottles
- Coffee mug (adults)
- Ski mask to sleep in you you’re cold natured
- Good, broken in CLOSED TOE shoes
- Hammock (optional)
- Toothpaste / Toothbrush
- Hat with brim
- Binoculars (optional)
- Fishing pole, bait, tackle box (optional)